A plea bargain is an arrangement where a person who has been charged with a crime agrees to plead guilty to a particular charge in exchange for either a reduction of the charges or of the penalties for conviction. This is something that has to be agreed upon by both the prosecution and the person facing the charges.
Plea bargains have become increasingly common in the court system due to overcrowded jails and calendars. If someone is facing DUI charges for the first time, a plea bargain may allow them to reduce their charges to prevent a DUI from showing up on their record by pleading guilty to a lesser charge, such as violating an open container law.
In most cases, when someone agrees to a plea bargain in relation to drunk driving charges, they are likely to be required to complete an alcohol diversion program. They may also be ordered to complete community service and pay fines. Whether someone is better off with a jury trail or accepting a plea bargain will depend on the charges they face, the evidence against them and the events that led up to the charges.
If someone has been taken into custody for drunk driving, there are a variety of levels of charges they may face as well as different penalties if they are convicted. In addition to considering a plea bargain, an attorney for the defendant may also look at the arrest report in order to determine if police officers acted properly when conducting field sobriety tests. The circumstances surrounding the charges may have a significant bearing on whether a person is convicted, and a criminal defense attorney will take them into account when determining the appropriate strategy.